Review by Thorpe

"One of my first strategy games played and it proves to be addictive."

Theme Hospital I remember getting given to me by someone as a gift probably in the late 90s. This was the first decent game I played for hours on my Windows 98 computer.

When in the main game you start off in a really big hospital. The bigger the hospital then the more easier it is for you to place in objects and rooms. Doing this will make people feel more comfortable. Having tight spaces between rooms can often lead to people getting stuck (probably a bug) and feeling sick. You don't want this to happen because after one person has felt sick it usually spreads throughout the hospital. The amount of time that this has happened to me is unbelievable. I remember having to shut down the whole hospital just so my janitors could clean up the mess. Literally, every floor tile outside the rooms was covered with sick. At least it wasn't possible for them to feel sick in a room. Having an untidy hospital means you will get infested with rats. This isn't particularly good news when you get a VIP visiting your hospital.

Once you progress past a few levels you'll need to cope with emergencies (that's when you get several patients wanting the same treatment at once), staff shortages (some levels make it really hard to hire enough doctors and nurses), new diseases and more and more patients. In fact, sometimes you'll have to place down more seating to cope with the amount of people coming into the hospital and placing down more drinks machines. The game does become increasingly difficult and if you don't react quickly and do things right your reputation will go down. Other things you'll need to keep an eye on is the heat (if it is too low or too high your patients will become unhappy and may possibly leave) and of course your finances.

For 1997, the graphics weren't too bad. I don't think they were the best but neither the worst either. The main hospital looked good and probably the only downfall about them was some of the people. Seeing as you only get a few models of each patient (many look the same) they could of at least worked hard on that.

You'll probably find yourself turning off the music in the background (especially when the tracks start to repeat) a lot. The music can be very lively and it is the sort of soundtrack which gets rather annoying once you've heard it about three or four times. Even more annoying than that is the receptionist. Her voice gave me a serious migraine! Thank goodness there was an option to turn her off.

If you are looking to become a doctor or nurse sometime in the future don't expect this game to improve your skills. It is there purely for fun. There is nothing too advanced about it. You'll get invisible people with walking sticks and people with bloaty heads. Now, I don't think you will be curing people who are invisible when you become a doctor. Well, I don't think so anyway - at least not now. This is a god game and is worth it if you want to enjoy hours of managing a fantasy hospital. You'll need to manage your staff, expand and build new parts of the hospital. It's great to reorganise your hospital and although some may say it is boring, I don't think it is.

If you are wanting to purchase this game I recommend it on the PC since it's a lot of clicking and dragging. The process of doing this on the PlayStation version takes much more time.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/30/06


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